IN MY KIT – Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads €12.95

As featured in my monthly column for Xpose Magazine…


Most people don’t exfoliate enough so I have to carry some clever quick fixes in my makeup kit. If you don’t remove that layer of dead skin from the surface of your face it will prevent moisturiser from penetrating into the healthy skin below that needs nourishment. This results in skin that craves a rich moisturiser to sooth the rough texture on the top layer, but then gets too oily as the day progresses causing foundation to slide off. Removing the dead skin will mean you only need a light moisturiser that won’t overload your skin and cause that dreaded shininess. Aggressive exfoliation can cause broken veins so I try to stick with products that use enzymes to break down the dead skin cells and Glycolic Acid is one of my favorite ingredients. These nifty little cleansing pads from Nip and Fab contain just the right amount of Glycolic Acid to gently exfoliate without the risk of irritating my clients’ skin. I follow my mini glycolic facial with a light moisturiser and foundation glides on beautifully!

SHOOT PROOF – Makeup Forever HD Range

As featured in my monthly column for Xpose Magazine…


I’ve been snooping into other makeup artist’s kits recently to see what their favourite products are and the same thing keeps popping up! Makeup Forever’s HD range of primers, foundations, concealers and powders were developed to meet the new challenges of High Definition cameras which show up even more flaws than the naked eye. The epic concentration of pigment in the HD Foundation (€39.50) provides flawless coverage without looking heavy and the silicone formula creates a smooth, even and long lasting finish. The concealer (€27.50) cushions the delicate skin around the eyes and my favorite shades (310 and 320) have a rich pink tone to neutralize dark under eye circles. The powder (€33.50) then keeps everything in place and prevents shine with the finest texture I have ever experienced. Use with HD Elixir (€35) for dry skins to plump and hydrate all day or the HD Primer to mattify oily skins. A genuinely shoot proof product for brides, models and anyone concerned with their close up.

Trend Tested – Sequin Eyes @ Chanel A/W 2013

As featured in my column for Xpose Magazine…

I’m feeling very festive so I thought I’d turn my eyes into sparkley baubles! I’ve been bubbly and chatty all day and my pumpkin spiced latte is only half of it. To create the look, I pressed some sequins from the haberdashery onto my eyelids using Duo Adhesive (€13 available from MAC) and finished it off with thin line of brown eyeshadow under the eye for definition. Simple sparkles!

How to… Choose a Foundation

1. Skin Type – Your foundation needs to be compatible with the chemistry of your skin so that it looks beautiful and last all day. If your skin is dry you need a moisturising formula so look for words like Nourishing, Lift, Radiance and Plumping. (Kate’s Favourite: MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation €36.50)  If you have oily skin you will need something absorbant with buzz words like Clarifying, Mattifying, Velvet and Cashmere. (Kate’s Favourite: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light €34.50) If you don’t know your skin type you probably have normal or combination skin, as people with dry and oily skin usually notice problems with their foundation either soaking into their skin or sliding off. Foundations for normal and combination skin are often called Satin, Balancing and Natural. (Kate’s Favourite: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua €38)

2. Colour – Every brand will have a different way of categorizing their foundation colours but it helps to figure out your skin tone. Check the veins on the inside of your arm. If they are a purple-ish blue you have pink toned skin. If they are green-ish blue then you have yellow toned skin. If they just look plain old blue, then your skin tone may lie somewhere in between pink and yellow, in the neutral zone. Get the sales assistant to check 2 or 3 shades on your jawline and don’t forget to look at it in daylight! Your neck, face and chest might be different colours so your are aiming for something that ties everything together and gives you a uniform effect. TOP TIP: If your neck is much paler than the rest of you, match your foundation to your chest and you can always add some bronzer to your neck afterwards.

4. Test it out – Absolutely nothing beats the experience of wearing a foundation to see if it’s correct for you. Try to get a sample of the foundation or ask to pour some into a pot. Then apply the foundation as you normally would; in your own mirror in the morning before you go to work with your own makeup tools (brush/sponge/fingers). You will need to check how it looks in daylight, in a photograph, up close and at the end of the day. If your skin is very oily or very dry you can’t expect your foundation to be perfect right through to the end of the day, but something that needs minimal maintenance is the aim.

5. Change it up – Your skin tone and skin type will change throughout the year so when you notice your tan fading or the cold weather starting to dry out your skin, it’s time to check if your foundation is still working for you.

As featured in my monthly column for Xpose Magazine 

Shoot Proof – Rimmel ScandalEyes Shadow Stick

My favorite way to create smokey eyes is to blend a soft kohl pencil into the eyelids. Unfortunately, soft pencils don’t last long so I was delighted to discover Rimmel’s Shadow Sticks are waterproof and last for ages! Start by applying a small amount of the chubby pencil to your lash line and smudge out with a stuff blending brush. Blend a little patch at the time because when the shadow dries it wont budge anymore. Gradually you can apply the colour wider and blend out towards the socket or cover your entire eyelid. Shoot proof smokey eyes in a matter of minutes!
As featured in my column for Xpose Magazine

In My Kit – Sleek Face Form

I aspire to be a makeup ninja, swift and deadly with minimal weaponry, so I’m always looking for things to make my makeup bag more compact. Face Form is a neat little pallet from Sleek that has made my dreams come true. I use the matte brown colour to contour cheekbones and eye sockets, the shimmery ivory to highlight cheekbones and brow bones and the peachy blush to add a pop of colour on the apple of the cheeks and on the eyelids. It’s nearly everything I need in one place! 

You can order Sleek online from

As featured in my monthly column for Xpose magazine

HOW TO… M Wash Your Brushes

On set and between clients I use aprofessional brush cleaner that evaporates out of my brushes quickly so I can use them straight away. However, every night I give them a good wash with plain old shampoo and a thorough rinse to make sure there’s no build up of product. Here’s how to get the job done.

Grab a bunch of brushes that have the same length hairs so you can rinse them right down the the root. The metal band that connects the hairs to the handle, called the ferrule, is designed to protect the base of the hairs and keep it attached to the handle, so don’t let water any higher than this band of metal! 

Dampen the hairs under the tap and then swirl and glide your brushes around in a blob of shampoo to lather them up. NEVER scrub in the opposite direction to the hairs as this will distort their shape. I use Sigma’s GENIUS washing glove (€25.92) that features different textures to help you lather and rinse your brushes in various directions. The mitt also makes sure my hands don’t dry out from washing everyday and I can get the water really hot too!

Once you’ve gotten your brushes nice and soapy, rinse them through and decide if you need another bit of soap depending on how much colour you see in the water.

When you’ve rinsed them fully, give them a little squeeze to get them back into shape. I lay my brushes on a towel as I’m working and then press the hairs together before they go on my windowsill to dry. Make sure you leave your brushes somewhere that air can get all around the hairs and avoid standing them up in a pot as the water will soak through to the base and loosen the hairs over time. 


As featured in my monthly column for Xpose Magazine.

It’s very silly to think your lazy brush habits are not linked to your skin problems. Bacteria is easily trapped between hairs, and brushes used to apply wet products are the worst culprits as moisture breeds bacteria. Don’t get me wrong, I feel your laziness! I hand wash my makeup brushes every evening after work and I still experience the same dread at the task ahead. That’s why a handy spray like Purifying Brush Cleanser from Makeup Forever is fantastic. Keep the bottle on your dressing table beside a box of tissues so you can use it after each makeup application, then you only need to hand wash your brushes every2 weeks or so. To get the most out of your spray cleaner, lay the brush hairs against a tissue folded on the table, spray product onto the hairs and swipe the brush across the tissue, taking care not to go against the direction of the hairs (that means no scrubbing action!). Not only will your skin benefit, but brushes that are not clogged with product are also much easier to use.

HOW TO… Conceal to perfection

As featured in my monthly column for Xpose Magazine…

BLEMISHES – The deal with pimples and blemishes is that you want them to disappear, not look amplified. That means a strong coverage, oil free formula that stays put and (most importantly) an exact colour match. If the colour is too pale or too dark you’ll struggle to blend it into the surrounding skin so shop for your concealer with your usual foundation applied for the best match. Use a small brush to press a little product onto the blenishes and layer if needed, finishing with some translucent powder. MAC Studio Finish Concealer, Sigma E21 Smudge Brush

UNDEREYES – The skin under your eyes is a very different texture to pimples and blemishes so it’s easy to exaggerate fine lines and wrinkles. That’s why a creamy or liquid texture is the most important thing to remember. The second concern is colour, as most people have a slightly purple or blue toned skin under the eyes so you need a warm toned concealer to lift the colour. Apply the pinky bisque or peachy orange toned concealer with your finger tips to melt into your delicate under eye skin. Makeup Forever Lift Concealer #2


IN MY KIT – Real Techniques Duo Fibre Collection

As featured in my Xpose Magazine Column…

Do you apply your makeup crouched over a magnifying mirror with your tongue hanging out the side of your mouth? Do you envy your arty friends who buff their foundation into their skin so effortlessly it looks like the brush didn’t even touch their face? Help is at hand because makeup artist and YouTube guru Samantha Chapman has designed a range of brushes to solve all your problems! Real Techniques brushes are made from plush synthetic hairs that feel like velvet an the rubber bases on the metal handles encourage you to hold the brush at the base, just like a professional. The price is also a huge draw and at €8 – €15 a brush you can afford to develop a hoarding habit like mine! My current favorite is the Duo Fibre Collection which will help you to master the secret art of blending with my tips from last week.

Buy here;